Last week President Biden signed H.R. 6943, the Public Safety Officer Support Act, into law. The legislation expands death and disability benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program to include first responders who die by suicide or are disabled by traumatic experiences.
The new law will:
- Allow public safety officers to seek disability benefits for PTSD linked to severe trauma by directing the PSOB to designate work-related PTSD and acute stress disorders as a line of duty injury for eligible officers as well as those who are permanently disabled as a result of attempted suicide; and
- Allow families of public safety officers who die by trauma-linked suicide to apply for death benefits by directing the PSOB to presume that suicides are a result of job duties in certain traumatic circumstances where there is evidence that PTSD or acute stress disorder would be the cause of the injury.
The bill states that first responders or their survivors may qualify for benefits if their suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder was related to being exposed to “a harrowing circumstance posing an extraordinary and significant danger or threat to the life of or of serious bodily harm to any individual.” There are other requirements and details which are in the copy of the five-page bill below:
[pdf-embedder url=”https://wildfiretoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/H.R.6943.pdf” title=”H.R. 6943″]